Letters to the Editor for the August 13, 2012 weekly print issue: Rep. Lamar Smith (R) of Texas mischaracterizes President Obama's recent decision to put a low priority on the deportation of some young illegal immigrants who were brought to the US as children. His op-ed is misleading.
Rep. Lamar Smith's July 2 commentary ("Obama's move on young illegals violates the law") responds to President Obama's recent decision to put a low priority on the deportation of young illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. It contains misleading statements and innuendo unbefitting someone who holds high elected office.
There are now an estimated 11.2 million undocumented immigrants in the country. The Pew Hispanic Center reports that approximately 1.4 million of that group are people under age 30 who were brought here as children by their parents and could be affected by the policy change. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants meet the criteria outlined by the president, which include being currently enrolled in school, having graduated high school, or being an honorably discharged veteran. Both of those numbers account for only a small percentage of the total population of undocumented immigrants.